Latest industry data from researcher Kantar revealed that Asda has overtaken Sainsbury’s in main store sales.

Kantar’s figures reveal a year-on-year growth of 1.4% in supermarket sales for the 12 weeks to 24 March. It said that the later Easter date and Mother’s Day not being in the reported period have each contributed to the market’s slow growth rate. Indeed, the market has grown at its slowest rate since March 2018.

Though Easter is still a while away, shoppers across the UK have already spent £146 million on Easter eggs, Kantar said.

Additionally, 42% of households have purchased hot cross buns.

Tesco (LON:TSCO) grew by 0.5% to reach a market share of 27.4%.

Asda overtook Sainsbury’s and has become the second largest UK retailer with a 15.4% share in the market. With two years of continuous growth, its sales increased by 0.1% during the period.

Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) fell by 1.8% and saw its market share decrease by 0.5 percentage points to 15.3%. Kantar said that though Asda overtook Sainsbury’s in main store sales, Sainsbury’s remains the bigger retailer in its sales of food and drink and its results do not include those of Argos, which it acquired in 2016.

Aldi saw its sales increase by 10.6% which boosted its market share to 8%, a new record for the discount supermarket chain. Lidl was the second fastest growing supermarket and its market share grew to 5.6%.

Kantar noted that consumers were applying pressure on retailers over single-use plastics. It said that 21% of fruit, vegetable and salad items were sold loose over the period, and sales grew twice as quickly as packaged goods.

Last week the European parliament voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers as part of a law against plastic refuse.

At 09:21 BST Tuesday, shares in J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY) were trading at -0.89%. Shares in Tesco plc (LON:TSCO) were trading at +0.086% at 09:22 BST.